On November 5, 2012, surrounded by family, Mr. John Hope Alexander Kelsey Sr., age 80, of Washington, DC passed away at Providence Hospital after a lengthy illness.
He was born December 23, 1931 in Rome, GA, the third child born to the late Reverend Robert D. Kelsey III and Dorothy Alexander Kelsey. He joined Friendship Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga in 1944 and was baptized there. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by sister, Dorothy K. Mullings (Henry), brother, Robert D. Kelsey IV and nephew, Karl Mullings.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Daisy R. Kelsey. He leaves six children, Dietra, John (Deborah), Octavia, Robert V, Christina (Adrian) and Stephanie. He also leaves behind a loving sister, Rosa Kelsey; his nieces, Patricia, Dana and Karen; and his nephew, Kirk. He additionally leaves his aunt, Helen Hamilton and sister-in-law, Gwendolyn Smith. He will be missed by his eight grandchildren, Makia, Robert K., Jasmine, Robert G., Nylah, Tyjuan, DéShaun and Azia.
He lived in Washington DC for over 65 years and attended Benjamin Banneker Jr. High school and Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School. After graduating from high school he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a paratrooper during the Korean War. After his discharge he attended Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. When he returned to Washington, DC he worked for the DC Department of Recreation for over 35 years, where he retired in 1994. All who knew him will remember his love of life, determination and his dedication to his family.
Memorial Services will be held at Shiloh Baptist Church, 1500 Ninth Street NW, Washington, DC on November 9, 2012 at 10 a.m., followed by a Celebration of his life at his daughter's home at 515 Oglethorpe St., NW, Washington, DC.

Published in The Washington Post on Nov. 8, 2012